Saturday 21 December 2019

Curtain Up!

They say that Christmas is a time to revisit one's childhood and I think it is never too late to do just that - to try to recapture that magical feeling as you hear someone creeping in to fill your stocking, or when you catch your first sight of the giant tree sparkling with lametta, and glowing with candles, and realise that there are large packages waiting just for you....

Maybe even a dolls house? 
Cestina aged 4
Even 102 is not too late to relive some of the fun of Christmas! My friend Rose remembers sticking paper chains with flour and water, and remembers too that they fell down as soon as the room got warm and the "glue" dried out!  Less falling down for this modern version...

And we haven't just been making paper chains in this run up to Christmas.   Whilst burrowing under Rose's stairs recently I found the Usborne theatre that I had given her a couple of years ago which for some reason or other we had never got around to putting together.   I had completely forgotten its existence.

With last week's blogpost entitled "That's Entertainment", and with a follow-up post due this Saturday, there seemed no better time to construct it than now.

After all, as we know from the very first adult film I was ever taken to see, aged 8 - Annie Get Your Gun -"There's no Business like Show Business!"

(My first crush came then too - on Howard Keel singing "My defences are down").

The Usborne theatre was a delight to put together, as easy as the house..... 
....we made a few years ago, and we are now ready to perform both The Nutcracker Suite and even A Midsummer Night's Dream to anyone willing to come and sit through them....

Back to Bavorov now for Curtain Up in the "big" theatre in the window.

I have discovered that old Advent calendars make useful theatre backdrops and they fit very well in the transformed charity shop puppet theatre.  

When I first thought of this project I planned to use an Edwardian street scene Advent calendar as the backdrop...
...and rapidly gathered together as many props as I could find to add to the illusion.  
But for some reason that I cannot now remember I went off the idea and settled on a German Christmas market instead. 

(My change of heart probably had something to do with the availability of suitably clad dolls for the street scene since sewing costumes is not something that I can do...)

Once again my trusty carolling dolls were called into action - I think they have appeared in every Christmas blog I have written since 2012, including their starring role in the Winter Songfeast post of 2015.

There was some jockeying for position... 

but the whole scene came together very rapidly... 

....and the big reveal happened, thanks to my friend Jana, (since I am now back in the UK) in Bavorov on the last day of November, just in time for the Advent Farmers' Market.
from this.... this...

Of course no Christmas Market can be complete without accompanying music, preferably brass, so I hope you can take a break from your preparations to enjoy a new discovery for me, the Michel Rondeau Brass Quartet with a delightful selection of carols...

And finally I leave you with all good wishes for a joyous Christmas and a peaceful New Year from Small Worlds
(accompanied by some more seasonal music...)


  1. Beautiful music, and I love the Christmas market scene. What I can't believe though, is Rose at 102 - she looks incredible! Wishing you a very Merry Christmas (and if you have time, I have just written today's Kew blog!! )

    1. I am heading straight to Kew! Have an excellent Christmas...

  2. Love the Christmas market scene in Small Worlds, also the model theatre for Rose - she looks so amazing for her age. Also enjoying the music - I grew up in the brass band country of the Yorkshire coalfield, still love to hear carols arranged for brass. The local colliery band used to play Christians Awake outside our house every Christmas morning, much to my mother's amusement, since we were the only Jewish family for miles around!! Have a very happy Christmas, and all the best to you in 2020.

    1. So glad the brass quartet brought back happy memories for you Susan. Rose is delighted with the theatre - we did another performance tonight. She used to love going to the theatre though she preferred straight plays to musicals or ballet.
      All best seasonal wishes to you too. Gilx

  3. I'm still not sure what play they're putting on in the "big" theatre... I guess it's a bustling street scene from the start of some opera, or Dickens adaptation. Fabulous festive music in another lovely theatrical extravaganza.

    1. Clearly an adaptation of that well-known Dickens hit "Eine Weihnachtsgeschichte"....

      I still incline to a Christmas version of Smetana's opera Prodaná nevěsta (The Bartered Bride)....

      Glad you like the music, you had to listen long enough to me trying to find something suitable!


  4. What a delightful Christmas post! I enjoyed every minute of it.
    We just got back from a Rhine river cruise to visit various Christmas markets. What was I thinking!!! It was cold and rained everyday except one. Believe me, it is not fun to visit Christmas markets in a cold rain.
    I should have stayed here (saved a lot of $$) and waited for your Christmas post and enjoyed Allison's Christmas crafts.
    Merry Christmas!
    Sandy xx

    1. Oh Sandy what a shame! Christmas markets are wonderful if the weather is right. I hope you at least had a sufficiency of lovely hot Gluhwein to counter some of the cold and damp.
      Happy Christmas

  5. Christmas blessings to you Cestina. It’s awesome to hear you have recovered well! What a shock to learn what you went through in mid-Oct. I hope you’re surrounded with good company & lots of laughs this Christmas. So cool to finally know your avatar is actually you! (&not Shirley Temple! though just as darling!)

    1. Lovely to see you here Bryan! Have a joyous, peaceful Christmas
      Gil aka Cestina

  6. What a cute photo of you at Christmas aged 4, I don't think I have any photos of me at Christmas with my toys. Love the theatres too.

    1. My father was a passionate photographer so there are many such photos. But sadly none of my transformed dolls house which disappeared just before my 8th birthday, to reappear with an extra storey and wonderful roof garden...

  7. Christmas greetings from us both in France! Meant to respond before we came away, but we didn’t have time to draw breath until we got here!

    1. Reciprocated as Rose would say :-) Hope you are both fit as fiddles and have an excellent time Gilx